Russian President Vladimir Putin during his address, Moscow, September 21, 2022. Photo: AP
Today President Vladimir Putin gave a national address announcing the ‘partial mobilisation’ of Russian reserves to the battlefield in Ukraine. He blamed the ‘collective west’ for the prolonged fighting, and threatened nuclear retaliation once again. Mediazona publishes the address in English, slightly abridged for clarity.
My dear friends. In today’s speech, I will discuss the situation in Donbas and the status of our special military operation to liberate it from the neo-Nazi regime that seized power in Ukraine in 2014 as a result of an armed coup.
I am addressing all of you, all the citizens of our country, people of many generations, ages, and nationalities, the nation of our great Motherland, everyone who is united by the great historical Russia, soldiers and officers, volunteers who are now fighting on the front lines, who are on combat duty, our brothers and sisters: the people of Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics, the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia and further areas liberated from the neo-Nazi regime.
I will speak about the necessary, urgent steps required to protect the sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity of Russia, to support the aspirations and the will of our compatriots to determine their own future, and about the aggressive policies of some western elites, who are seeking to retain their supremacy by all means possible, and to this end they are attempting to block and suppress any centre of sovereign independent development so that they can continue to impose their will on other countries and peoples and to impose their own pseudo-values.
The goal of the west is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country. They are openly saying that they succeeded in breaking up the Soviet Union in 1991, and now the time has come for Russia to disintegrate into a great many regions and areas bitterly hostile to each other.
The decision to launch a pre-emptive military operation was absolutely necessary and the only possible choice. Its main objective, the liberation of the entire territory of Donbas, remains unchanged.
The Luhansk People’s Republic has already been practically cleansed of neo-Nazis. Fighting continues in the Donetsk People’s Republic. In eight years, the occupying regime in Kyiv has constructed a deeply echeloned line of entrenched fortifications here. To attack it head-on would result in heavy casualties, so our units as well as military units of the Donbas republics are operating in a planned and competent manner, using combat vehicles, saving personnel and freeing the land step by step, clearing towns and villages of neo-Nazis and helping people whom the Kyiv regime has turned into hostages and human shields.
I have some information to share with you for the first time. After the start of the special military operation, in particular, during the negotiations in Istanbul, Kyiv’s representatives were responding to our proposals very positively, and these proposals were primarily related to ensuring Russia’s security and our interests. But it is obvious that a peaceful solution would not suit the west, and so after reaching some compromise, Kyiv was in fact given a clear order to sabotage all agreements.
Ukraine was further flooded with weaponry. The Kyiv regime deployed gangs of foreign mercenaries and nationalists, military units trained to NATO standards and under the de facto command of western advisers.
Today our Armed Forces are operating on the contact line that exceeds 1,000 kilometres, confronting not only neo-Nazi units, but in fact the entire war machine of the collective west.
In this light, I consider it necessary to take the following decision which is fully appropriate considering the threats we face. Namely, in order to protect our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to ensure the security of our people and the people in the liberated territories, I believe it necessary to support the proposal of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff to hold a partial mobilisation in the Russian Federation.
My dear friends, with their aggressive anti-Russian policies, the west has crossed all boundaries. We constantly hear threats against our people and our nation. Some irresponsible western politicians do more than only speak about arranging supplies of long-range offensive weapons to Ukraine—systems that would enable attacks on Crimea and other regions of Russia.
These terrorist attacks, including using western weapons, are already being carried out at civilian border territories in Kursk and Belgorod regions. In real-time, using modern systems, planes, ships, satellites, and strategic NATO drones, they are gathering intelligence all over southern Russia.
In Washington, London and Brussels they are directly pushing Kyiv to move military action towards our territory, openly saying that Russia should, by any means, be destroyed on the battlefield with the ensuing deprivation in political, economic, cultural—indeed all—sovereignty with the all-out robbery of our country.
Nuclear blackmail has begun. Not only does it mean attacks on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant supported by the west, but also statements by some representatives of NATO countries about the possibility and admissibility of using mass nuclear weapons against Russia.
Those who make such statements against Russia—I’d like to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction. And, in some areas, more advanced than those of NATO countries. If the territorial unity of our country is threatened, in order to protect Russia and our nation, we will unquestionably use all the weapons we have. This is no bluff.
Citizens of Russia can be confident that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom are secured. I will highlight this once again: by any means possible. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the wind might turn back in their direction.
It is our historic tradition, the fate of our people, to stop those who aim for world domination, who threaten to dismember and enslave our Motherland, our Fatherland. That’s what we’re going to do now, that’s what will happen.
I trust in your support.
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